Following a number of recalls—bad for business but good for the public—Toyota is working on restoring its brand image.
As far as car manufacturers go, Toyota has seen its image fluctuate to both extremes in the past four years. Prior to 2009, Toyota consistently received the highest ratings and praise for its safety features from consumers and advocacy groups alike. Then, beginning in 2009, Toyota began dealing with very public blows to its image and safety ratings: sudden and uncontrollable sticking accelerator pedals caused dozens of injuries and even deaths.
Now, in 2013, the car manufacturer has issued three separate voluntary recalls of various vehicle models. It appears the unrivaled reputation for safety keeps slipping out of Toyota’s grasp, and trust in the safety and reliability of the brand could be damaged. The President and CEO of Toyota publicly apologized following the string of mounting accidents and deaths resulting from the brand’s vehicles in 2009. He said, “I would like for the public to trust us.”
How does one reestablish trust with the same public your product has harmed?
By continuing to issue voluntary recalls, Toyota is working hard on its long-term goal of inviting the public to trust it again.
Speaking to one’s trusted consultants—whether for public relations, financial, or legal advice—helps to assess the damage and create a long-term plan addressing business brand longevity. Business owners should have a working relationship with a business law attorney to resolve outstanding claims against a product, renew contracts, and establish new relationships.